The Master and His Emissary

The Master and His Emissary : The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World

4.31 (1,681 ratings by Goodreads)
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In a book of unprecedented scope--now available in a larger format-Iain McGilchrist presents a fascinating exploration of the differences between the brain's left and right hemispheres, and how those differences have affected society, history, and culture. McGilchrist draws on a vast body of recent research in neuroscience and psychology to reveal that the difference is profound: the left hemisphere is detail oriented, while the right has greater breadth, flexibility, and generosity. McGilchrist then takes the reader on a journey through the history of Western culture, illustrating the tension between these two worlds as revealed in the thought and belief of thinkers and artists from Aeschylus to Magritte. "A landmark new book. . . . It tells a story you need to hear, of where we live now."-Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

"A very remarkable book. . . . McGilchrist, who is both an experienced psychiatrist and a shrewd philosopher, looks at the relation between our two brain-hemispheres in a new light, not just as an interesting neurological problem but as a crucial shaping factor in our culture . . . splendidly thought-provoking. . . . I couldn't put it down."-Mary Midgley, The Guardian

Named one of the best books of 2010 by The Guardian
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Product details

  • Paperback | 544 pages
  • 144 x 221 x 34mm | 728g
  • New Haven, CT, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 15 colour images + 20 black-&-white illustrations
  • 0300188374
  • 9780300188370
  • 9,396

Review Text

In a book of unprecedented scope--now available in a larger format--Iain McGilchrist presents a...
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Review quote

"McGilchrist describes broad [intellectual] movements and famous figures as if they were battles and soldiers in a 2,500-year war between the brain's hemispheres. . . . A scintillating intelligence is at work."-Economist
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About Iain McGilchrist

Iain McGilchrist is a former fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where he taught literature before training in medicine. He was consultant psychiatrist and clinical director at the Bethlem Royal and Maudsley Hospital, London, and has researched in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He now works privately in London and otherwise lives on the Isle of Skye.
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Rating details

1,681 ratings
4.31 out of 5 stars
5 56% (949)
4 27% (449)
3 11% (180)
2 4% (64)
1 2% (39)
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